A group of people known as the Genesis Project want to perform plastic surgery on the face of church-school education. It will take some thirty-two years to complete, but the operation is under way. Here is the way Genesis sees a newmedia Sunday-school class.

The lesson: Luke 1. The Bible: a ¾ inch video cassette (also available in 16mm or 8mm film). Teaching materials: two filmstrips per cassette, with record or cassette recordings, leader’s guide, and a new magazine, Bible Times. The students don’t read the lesson; they watch and hear it. The video portion was filmed in Israel in color. Background music is an original score. No dialogue is used other than that recorded by the writers of Scripture. Elizabeth, Zechariah, Mary, and Joseph speak Hebrew in the background while the class hears a word-for-word narration in either the King James, the Revised Standard, or possibly the New American. If it’s King James, Alexander Scourby narrates; Orson Welles handles the Revised Standard. The actors, other than the Israeli actor Topol, who plays Abraham in this series, are unknowns.

Prolific film producer John Heyman, who began research for the Genesis Project (or the New Media Bible) six years ago, serves as chief executive officer. Over the next thirty-two years he plans to film the entire Bible for sale to churches, synagogues, libraries, and educational institutions. A charter subscription costs $2,000. After November 1 the price goes up $500.

The first twenty-two chapters of Genesis and chapters one and two of Luke are the initial installments of the multi-million-dollar project ($5 million has been spent so far, the money raised from American and British businessmen). Portions of the Old and New Testaments will be filmed and ...

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